Why Are Automakers Getting Away with Cheating Devices and Gassing People?
The auto industry is a sick placeby Pops, on
There’s something terribly wrong with the auto industry today! And reading this week’s news is enough to notice it. Assuming you’re a sane person that is! While the folks over at Jalopnik uncovered how Goodyear hid evidence of a tire that caused at least nine deaths over nearly 20 years, other outlets are reporting how certain German carmakers paid scientists to gas monkeys and humans with toxic diesel fumes. Yeah, I know, it sounds like an overinflated conspiracy theory, but it’s all true, unfortunately.
Goodyear, one of the world’s most biggest tire manufacturers, is now under scrutiny for an issue that dates back to the early 2000s and is linked to more than 40 lawsuits and at least nine deaths. In short, the brand approved the G159, a tire designed in the mid-1990s for lower-speed delivery vehicles, for motorhome use. Motorhomes usually run at higher speeds than the said tire can handle, which resulted in numerous crashes and deaths. On top of that, it turns out that Goodyear managed to keep complaints and claim data sealed from auto safety regulators for all these years. It’s only now, in 2018, that a proper investigation was launched. Check out Jalopnik’s story for the full details.
Then we have all the big media outlets reporting about German scientists having gassed human volunteers with toxic diesel fumes in tests funded by big car manufacturers. Commissioned by the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT), these tests were backed by Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz. In the U.S., then monkeys were gassed with exhaust fumes from a VW Beetle in 2014 by the U.S.-based Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute.
The EUGT was dissolved in 2016, and it remains unclear whether the carmakers were aware of monkeys and humans being gassed, or at least that’s what many reports claim. Be that as it may —, and I must say I have strong doubts that VW, BMW, and Daimler were unaware of what happened behind closed doors — it’s still a sick thing to do in the name of science. And the big problem is that the carmakers will get away with it.
Hurt Them Where It Matters Most
Carmakers don't get the punishment they deserve
Yes, the "Dieselgate" scandal sent some high-ranking representatives to jail and forced Volkswagen to pay some serious fines, but hey, it’s been only a couple of years since the German firm admitted to using software to cheat tests and the Volkswagen Group is again the world’s largest automaker by sales. So nothing really changed outside the fact that regulators are more careful when certifying diesels. And that’s the biggest issue: carmakers don’t get the punishment they deserve.
You know what actually prompted Volkswagen to cheat? Becoming number one! Selling as many cars as possible and beating Toyota as the world’s largest manufacturer. It’s all about this race to gathering bragging rights. And as it turns out, automakers will do anything to get there. Anything! They will lie about their car’s emissions, they will gas animals and human beings, and, much like Goodyear did, they will use the law to prevent you from finding out that some of their products are crap. All this is possible because the penalties aren’t harsh enough.
Governments should put a ban on their sales
So what if a couple of former Volkswagen executives have been sentenced to years in jail? Their lives have been destroyed, yet Volkswagen continued to sell millions of cars. So what if VW pays billions of dollars for recalls and compensation? It’s not like they won’t get it back by selling millions of cars every year. Not even the fact that the firm deceived its customers doesn’t matter much. Faulty cars are being replaced with vehicles from the same company and as it turns out drivers still want to buy Volkswagens in massive numbers.
The way I see it, there’s only one way to punish companies that do all of the above: governments should put a ban on their sales. The U.S. Government should have issues a stop-sale for al Volkswagen cars until all drivetrains were checked and all of their diesel models should have been banned. The same actions should have taken place in Europe. A stop-sale order for a couple of months would have been enough to dig a big hole in the VW Group’s finances, reducing profits by around 20 percent. As a big company, you only learn valuable lessons when you lose money. That’s when you realize that things must change and that you can’t lie and get away with it.
BMW and Daimler should be held responsible for gassing people in a similar way
And yes, BMW and Daimler should be held responsible for gassing people in a similar manner. Halt diesel sales until the court figures out what happened and then hit them with a massive fine. Same goes for Goodyear, which shouldn’t get away with just fines and recalls. A measure that hurts the company’s sales will be the most efficient. The market shouldn’t tolerate thieves and liars and companies that hide behind court settlements to get away with selling faulty products. Hurt them where it matters most and they will their shit together. It’s either that or bankruptcy.
Yeah, I know this is a radical idea, and I’m pretty sure we won’t see it put into practice anytime soon, but is it really that crazy?
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